By Bob Koigi
President Uhuru Kenyatta has rewarded Elgon Kenya for the crucial role the company is playing in driving the food security resolve, a key pillar in the Big Four Agenda.
The President presented the trophy to Elgon Kenya Head of Communication Nelson Maina during this year’s Nairobi International Trade Fair appreciating the company for the transformative National Farmers Awards scheme now in its sixth year.
The awards, a partnership between agro input company Elgon Kenya Limited and the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, has grown to be an important event in the country’s farming calendar since it was first launched in 2013 having created a host of soil celebrities. Winners in the youth, women and physically challenged are rewarded by the President at the Nairobi International Trade Fair and a gala dinner with top government officials organized for all the winners.
Through working with both national and county governments, the scheme has reached farmers in every corner of the country whose heartwarming stories embody the spirit of ordinary people surmounting numerous odds to deliver extraordinary results even as it seeks to champion the government’s agenda of a food secure country by the year 2022.
The national fete while romanticizing agriculture as a rewarding endeavour, has spurred talk and action on making life easier for food producers to feed a growing population that is already putting a strain on food availability. The awards have also been pivotal in shifting discussion from boardrooms to a central meeting point between ordinary farmers and other key players in the sector including government and private sector players.
Past winners have gone on to create agricultural empires that are not only benefiting them but entire communities and getting attention beyond the country. Such testimonies rubberstamp what the awards set out to do; to create a network of model farmers across the country who would be ambassadors of the country’s food security, influencing many more into sustainable farming.